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From Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Subject Re: [RT] Improved navigation of learning objects
Date Tue, 14 Oct 2003 11:33:52 GMT

On Monday, Oct 13, 2003, at 22:57 Europe/Rome, Conal Tuohy wrote:

> Bertrand Delacretaz wrote:
>>> Some form of topic map would be useful to build "what's
>> related" info
>>> though, which helps navigation and discovery a lot.
> Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
>> Yes, but such a topic maps would have to be human edited.
>> this is what
>> scares me. tools for ontology creation (like Protege,
>> for example) are available but are
>> *incredibly* complex to to use.
> Certainly some, but not all of this topic map needs to be 
> human-edited. I
> think a basic ontology could be written by hand in a text editor and 
> still
> be large enough to be usable. NB there are other sytaxes for authoring 
> topic
> maps which are simpler than XTM, too.
> To be useful, a hand-written ontology would only need to cover some of 
> the
> core concepts such as "namespace", "component", "block", "howto",
> "generator", "transformer". The bulk of the topics and relationships 
> are
> implicit in the docs, and could be automatically harvested into XTM 
> with a
> bunch of XML stylesheets, and linked to the underlying ontology.
> For instance, references to java classes, XML namespaces, etc could be
> automatically harvested from xdocs:
> <xsl:template
> 	match="source[contains(.,'')]"
> 	mode="harvest-namespace-topics">
> 	<!--
> 	This document contains a reference to the request namespace,
> 	so it can be harvested as an occurrence of the namespace's topic
> 	-->
> 	<xtm:topic>
> 		<!-- topic for the request namespace -->
> 		<xtm:subjectIdentity>
> 			<xtm:subjectIndicatorRef
> 				xlink:href=""/>
> 		</xtm:subjectIdentity>
> 		<!-- this occurrence -->
> 		<xtm:occurrence>
> 			<xtm:resourceRef xlink:href="{$current-page-url}"/>
> 		</xtm:occurrence>
> </xsl:template>
> <xsl:template match="source[contains(.,'org.apache.cocoon.')]">
> 	<!-- reference to a cocoon class: -->
> 	<!-- harvest the class-name and link this resource to the topic 
> reifying
> that class -->
> 	etc.
> </xsl:template>
> A topic map layer could be harvested not just from the docs, but also 
> from
> the Wiki, the javadoc, the cvs, etc, etc, and the resulting topics 
> merged to
> reveal the relationships which are currently produced by hand. Then 
> you can
> define a website FROM the topic map. Also, of course, you can use 
> other TM
> tools such as the tm-visualiser "tmnav" which displays the topic map 
> using
> the TouchGraph component.

"automatic harvesting" scares the crap out of me, Conal.

I agree that there must be some kind of automatism going on, but the 
topic creation is a human task and programs would do a terrible job at 
doing this.

but anyway, we decided to do a first step with handwritten linkmaps. we 
can move incrementally from there on.


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